Mummy Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with introducing solids.
I love this adventure, because it means my little bitty baby is growing well. I hate a little bit that it spoils bub’s somewhat “easy” fix for sustenance. (Solids don’t replace milk or formula, but are an addition.)
In the beginning, there is no menu to plan, no food to buy or prepare, dishes to wash (besides bottles and the like) and no disgust for the food I cook. When babes are little they get what they get, and they don’t complain.
It’s adorable to watch them immerse themselves in the brand new exploration of tastes and textures, whether you feed purees or do baby led weaning. Personally, my kids do a bit of both. They have always loved spoons for some reason.
I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve gotten in preparation for our sooner-than-I’m-ready-for-it journey into the land of foods. And I will say, they have come out with some pretty cool stuff since my last babe!
Keep in mind: Introducing solids usually starts around 6 months old, but please consult with your doctor or medical professional beforehand if you want any resources in regards to the process. I’m no expert, and I know there are differing perspectives on the appropriate age to introduce food and how to go about doing it. I have included some resources below for your convenience, but feel free to check out my Pinterest board for some more ideas on milestones and related topics.
Now, you don’t NEED all of these products, usually any bowl, utensils and cup be fine, but look how stinkin’ cute this all is! And I will say the no-spill cups are more than just a gimmick, as I prefer my carpets to be dry. I delve into the varieties of sippy cups here.
*Disclosure,: Some of the products listed were provided, but this does not influence or change my opinion. I absolutely love everything I have listed and recommended here! This post contains affiliate links.
1. Cup– Obviously you need something to hold the water as you introduce that alongside solid foods. They don’t need too much at first, so just a tiny bit will do nicely. Check out my guide for cups here if you are flustered about the choices. For my bub, I have the Avent Penguin Sippy (he got it for Christmas). It’s a harder spout with a soft feel.
2. Bowl/plate– Rather than the food starting on the floor, it’s probably a good idea to keep it contained as much as possible! I love this plate from *Baby Bjorn! It is a bit deeper than your typical plate-making it perfect from first foods or purees through to when bubs navigates the use of using his own utensils!
3. Utensils– Something for you to feed baby, and have them feed themselves as well! Check out these *Baby Bjorn spoon and fork set! With a chunky easy-grip handle for you or baby, they make great first utensils. The fork is even more similar to a spork, making it easy to scoop as well.
4. Bib– In order to lessen the mess and minimise cleanup, it’s a good idea to purchase a bib for bub! The design of this *Baby Bjorn Bib is amazing! The nifty bit at the bottom helps to catch food if it should fall (and we all know how messy feeding can be)! It’s also made of BPA free plastic, so no wet and soggy mess covering your bub’s shirt! It’s easy to wipe off, rinse off, and is dishwasher safe!
(May I just add that Baby Bjorn has all of the above products available in a handy pack as well- the Bib, plate and utensils-all the tools you need for starting your baby’s journey into solids! Feel free to check out their online store here, or Amazon for those who live Stateside. And for the Aussies, if you review your Baby Bjorn products on their website, you can be entered to win items from their kitchen range here!)
5. Wet wipes/washcloth– Any cloth will do, or maybe those baby wipes we all love to use for everything else will come in handy! You can even purchase hand and face wipes which are specifically for these sticky messes, and they come in convenient packs that can go in the nappy bag, a purse, or the bottom of the pram. For my sensitive baby, I just use a clean wash cloth and water.
6. Food– Whether you do Baby Led Weaning or purees, you will need something to feed baby. We do a little bit of both. Sometimes I even cook and purée my own food using my Baby Bullet. Because I don’t have a huge amount of time on my hands, we use a fair few pouches and already prepared things to help mama feed bubs nutritiously.
*Bellamy’s Organic has a beautiful range for those first food moments! Whether you are looking for Rice Ceral or pouches to feed on-the-go or at home, they have you covered! To add to the list, they even have pasta, teething rusks, and more (and these are just the starting foods!) Their food is made with all natural organic ingredients and no articifical additives. You can check out their store online (for my Aussies), or Amazon for my US friends. Several stores in Australia also stock their products, which you can search for here.
My main snacks are by *Little Bellies who have a great selection of organic snack foods for your baby! Starting at 8 months, they carry a variety of puffs and other easily-dissolving, nutritious snacks for bub. They are my personal favourite, as the packaging is simply adorable, and my toddler is a huge fan of the blueberry puffs! You can find these in Woolworths or Coles (in store as well as online). They make a great extra to throw in your bag or nappy bag when you go out (and you can sneak a bite or two) to distract or keep little mouths and hands busy and little bellies happy! My toddler always comes running when she hears a bag crinkle now!
8. Bathing products– Of course your baby is no expert when it comes to foods, and mess is inevitable! Have that bath ready for when your little munchkin finishes immersing themselves in their dinner! We use sensitive bath products for my eczema prone baby. (Tip: Some mums say it make sure it easier to feed baby with no more than a nappy to avoid sulking over stains later, too!)
9. Camera– Maybe it’s the sap oozing out of me, but I have to get these first moments on camera. Plus, it’s super cute to see a baby covered in food. Have your camera, phone or video ready to record memories!
10. A Place To Sit– For them of course, but possibly for you as well! There are many types of high chairs, baby seats, and boosters when it comes to where they can be most comfortable. Pick something that lends itself to an easy clean. We have a high chair that adjusts in height, so baby can sit at the table level with us, or couch level if we feel exceptionally lazy.
Always be sure they are supervised, seated on something suited to feeding strapped in properly as they can be wiggly little things.
11. Allergy Awareness– While allergies may not run in your family, it is best to be on the lookout for reactions when introducing new foods. Some mums follow the “4 day wait rule” when doing so, to ensure they pick up on any reactions. Though more geared to preparing your own foods, Momtastic has some excellent resources for recording baby’s reactions, preferences and listing foods to introduce to baby which you can find here.
If you have any suspicion about allergies, or wonder if something is normal while feeding baby, don’t hesitate to call your doctor to ask questions. If you believe a reaction could be life threatening, do not wait to call emergency services in your area.
What is YOUR most essential item when starting off with new foods for baby and why?
Bellamy’s Organic: Their website for their amazing organic food range as well as articles on nutrition, recipes, and videos.
Little Bellies: Their Website which lists the variety of snacks available
Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food Site: A website filled with information, advice, and recipes for pureeing your own baby food. Much of this can be used even in Baby Led Weaning or feeding pre-made foods.
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: All around informative book about Baby Led Weaning along with some handy recipes. Recipes can often be used without doing Baby Led Weaning.
Annabel Karmel‘s page with recipes and other helpful resources
Foods and Snacks from my Pinterest Board (not all are suitable for babies)
Mummy To Dex has a lovely, ever-growing Baby-led Weaning recipe section on her page!